I have a deep abiding love for the Co-op that stems from its unique and instrumental role in the Upper Valley community. Cooperative commerce is challenging, and to remain vibrant a coop needs a good dose of nurturing vigilance and strategic vision, especially in this highly competitive and rapidly changing grocery industry. I believe that my professional expertise in organization leading, decision making, and professional communications as well as my past service on this Board are assets that can translate into a strong contribution to our institution.
Having served on this Board of Directors, including as Treasurer, I am familiar with the Ends spelled out for our organization, and I have first-hand experience in understanding financial reports from Management. I can ask pertinent questions without getting bogged down into the details and am fully aware that cash flow is an aspect that needs particular attention in a cooperative.
At Dartmouth College, most decisions are reached by committees, and I am used to group deliberation, consensus building, and respectful disagreement. I fully understand that not all decisions can be reached with unanimity, and that, although it is important to hear the voice of the minority and show flexibility to incorporate the concerns of the minority, once the decision is made, all (I included) are bound to rally behind the decision. I also favor transparency.
I am mindful that the Co-op exists primarily for the benefit of its members without losing sight of the other shareholders, who are the employees, vendors (including local farmers) and non-member shoppers. While our chief activity is the procurement of good food, the Co-op provides much more by way of food education, other services to the community (including a service station), sustenance to many local farmers, and support to neighboring coops.